There are around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. 209,600 will develop dementia this year - that’s one every three minutes - with the total projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040. People living with dementia have been significantly impacted by COVID-19, with 82% reporting an increase in their symptoms during lockdown, including memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and agitation or restlessness. The benefits of outdoor social and therapeutic horticulture are well documented, including improvements in emotional state, physical health, verbal expression, memory/attention, wellbeing, independence, self-esteem, social interaction and a sense of belonging. (Greening Dementia, 2013).
The goal of the project is to improve the wellbeing of people living with dementia and their carers. The allotment will bring them together, provide opportunities to meet regularly, connect with nature, share gardening knowledge, learn new skills, make friends, build confidence, and improve the local environment. The project will enhance participants’ physical and mental health and wellbeing, keep them physically fit and active, improve mobility, mood and self-esteem, provide opportunities to develop peer support networks and reduce the loneliness and isolation experienced due to COVID-19. Funding will be spent on a trained facilitator to support beneficiaries in their gardening activities.
Alive has over 10 years' experience in reaching and engaging older people with dementia in meaningful activities. Our trained and experienced Social and Therapeutic Horticulture facilitators are expert in supporting people living with dementia to enjoy and reap the benefits of gardening with like-minded people. We provide adaptive gardening equipment and accessible activities to address any barriers of age, ability or mobility. Our award-winning co-production process ensures that activities are co-designed and co-produced by participants themselves to meet their needs and be in line with their interests. Evaluation/feedback from our other community gardening groups demonstrate our success.
|Facilitator Salary: £24,500pa + on-costs @ £3,000pa = £27,500 x 2 days/week for 3 months (x 0.4FTE x 3/12) = £2,750||£2,750|
|Session Resources: plants, seeds, soil, materials||£250|
Our dementia-friendly allotment project will provide opportunities for people with dementia living in the community to connect with nature and get involved in gardening, which they otherwise may not have, and enable them to enjoy the following benefits without the stress or responsibility of having to keep a garden maintained. Expected impacts for participants are: • Improved physical health: participants will undertake more exercise, keep active and improve their physical health. • Improved wellbeing: participants will meet new friends, interact and socialise with others more, reducing their social isolation and loneliness. Family/carers will develop support structures with others in the same situation, also improving their wellbeing.• Community development: participants will work together, share skills, and feel part of their community. They will have a greater sense of purpose and feel more connected, establishing stronger social and support networks within their community.
Evaluation evidence shows that Alive's work significantly improves older people’s wellbeing. For example - 100% of people report that our activity sessions lift the moods of participants, and that the sessions encourage interaction, with 85% giving it the highest available rating - 100% report that, as well as aiding relaxation, our sessions are highly successful in encouraging interaction, with 75% giving it the highest rating Testimonials: "It's medicinal. If you don't have things like this, you'll get depressed, and low, and end up in hospital and that will cost them a fortune. They need things like this to keep people going.” – Mr MS, Community Gardening Group participant “Love what @aliveactivities does to support great care -#CommunityEngagement.” Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, CQC (Twitter, 30 Jun 2017) "Alive activities impact positively on the mental and emotional wellbeing of those who participate…" Independent evaluator, Willis Newson (2015)